, , , , ,

I have come to believe that college is not about earning a degree or making life-long friends. College is not about having a good time or making huge mistakes. No.

College is about survival.

For three years, I have done all of that stuff, but mostly I have survived. In particular, I have survived Move-In Day. (Yes, it’s actually a proper noun.)

Move-In Day, for me, usually means that I put a few things in my car the night before, and then wake up as early as I can on the Day to frantically shove everything else into my car. After that, I put all the big stuff in my mom’s minivan. Finally, she (or my Dad – whoever draws the short straw) and I will drive off toting all of my stuff and a selection of my siblings into the wild blue yonder (roughly 2.5 hours away). Once we make it to school, I spend the rest of my day organizing everything in my tiny dorm room. However, this year, all of that has changed. Adapted, I suppose. Survival is all about adapting, right?

This summer, I wanted to stay in CollegeTown where I had a job rather than go home to The Big City where I didn’t have a job, so I got to have three Move-In Days. In a nutshell: I moved everything home for two weeks, then I moved everything back to school for three months, then I moved to a friend’s house for two weeks, and today I moved back to school. Whew! I now have a small understanding of what military families experience. But I made it! School starts tomorrow, and I get to stay in one place for a while! (I must still be in shock, though, because I still haven’t bothered to unpack my stuff.)

But, as my grandma says, there is always something. Today, it is curtains. My bedroom has two windows, but only one set of curtains. I was all agog for a solution! I couldn’t have windows with no curtains! Fortunately, the window does have a curtain rod, so one of my roommates suggested that I hang towels on the window, but I don’t have an abundance of towels, so I hung up throw blankets instead. It really makes for a strange sight, I assure you. But I have survived the crisis.

So, for all of you college newbies, I will list a few of my most treasured survival tips.

  • Bring extra blankets. They serve many purposes as I learned today.
  • Pack your clothes in (clean) trash bags. Honestly, you’ll look like a hobo when you move in, but you don’t have to worry about how to store an assorted set of empty luggage throughout the school year.
  • Sleep well the night before you move in. You don’t want to run out of energy to organize your new room. (Otherwise, I suppose you can just make your bed first.)
  • If possible, consult with your roommate before you move in. Communication makes sharing a new space easier.
  • Don’t act too cool to really say goodbye to your family. I know you’re ready to get on with your new adventure, but remember that your family will likely not see you for quite a while. Show them that you really love them. (I promise you’ll feel better, too.)

Honestly, I’m a true expert here.

Do you have any Move-In Day Survival Tips of your own?